Thinkng about buying a second home?? Ask yourself these questions as you look at properties:

How accessible is the property? Gas prices dim the appeal of a place that’s hundreds of miles away. You can usually hop a cheap flight to Florida, but that’s not necessarily true of Corpus Christi, Tex., or Durango, Colo.? Make sure that you don’t break bank just trying to get to your vacation home.

Is the community well planned? In rural areas, a beautiful new cabin may adjoin a cluster of rusting trailers.? Think about things you want to have in the community: parks, golf courses, beaches, etc.? If you are considering using the second home as an income property while you aren’t using it, you want to make sure that the community is attractive to renters.

Is the house in good shape? New construction is fine, but an older place or summer home is likely to be the victim of deferred maintenance and premature wear. Instead of asking for a price concession, you may be better off asking the seller to hire a carpenter and a painter.

Will you feel at home there? Start your search at Web sites such as and to see models of what can be built. But don’t rely solely on internet searches– as in any home search, visiting the local community and home is the best way to see if it is the right fit for you.